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Sub practice
Sub practice

Antitrust and Intellectual Property

The collective expertise and technical know-how of our antitrust and intellectual property lawyers uniquely positions us to advise with confidence in cases involving the most complex science and technology.

Over recent years this area has been subject to increasing scrutiny from regulators. There have been a number of major cases on licensing and IP in which antitrust issues have played a pivotal role. We have been at the heart of some of the most high-profile cases at the interface between competition law and IP rights.

A key area of interaction between antitrust and IP is abuse of dominance/monopolisation. Investigations into companies with strong market positions are increasingly focused on the possible anticompetitive use of IP rights. The rules are full of complexities, with few bright-line thresholds and many grey areas. Companies need to be able to navigate their way through, as abusive conduct can carry severe penalties which may reach hundreds of millions of euros or dollars. We have wide experience of assisting companies in assessing their position in the market and formulating commercial strategies to help them stay on the right side of the line. We also act for firms that have been the victim of abusive conduct, helping to bring successful complaints against dominant companies.

With an exceptional IP, technology and life sciences practice – one of only a few leading international law firms with a significant multinational market presence in the IP field – we have the ability to advise our clients on competition and IP work, including IP litigation, at the highest levels. Our technical specialists at the nexus of antitrust and IP law are able to represent clients in the most complex licensing, research and development and IP infringement matters.

As the interplay between IP rights and competition law increases, our clients benefit from this complementary specialist expertise and our ability to devise effective strategies to protect their commercial and IP rights.

Some of the current issues on which we advise include:

  • Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), FRAND licensing and injunctions
  • Comparative law issues arising from divergent approaches between the laws of the United States and the European Union (EU)
  • Competition law regarding technology innovation and licensing, including in relation to the R&D Block Exemption and the Technology Transfer Block Exemption
  • Patent settlements, 'pay for delay' and other practices aimed at deferring the entry of generics to the market, and issues related to the pricing and reimbursement of medicinal products
  • Unilateral refusals to license parallel imports, and grey market goods copyright licensing

News and insights

Buildings

News: 23 January 2023

Second trial win for A&O's U.S. IP Technology Disputes team on behalf of Wonderland

Allen & Overy’s U.S. IP Technology Disputes team led by Shamita Etienne-Cummings recently achieved a second complete jury-rendered victory for Wonderland Switzerland AG (Wonderland), the designer and…

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Pharmaceutical Optical Ampoule / Vial Inspection Machine. 3d illustration

Blog Post: 16 December 2022

European Commission investigation into Teva’s potential abuse of dominance – misuse of patent procedures and disparagement

On 10 October 2022, the European Commission (EC) sent a Statement of Objections to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited and Teva Pharmaceuticals Europe BV (Teva). The EC has provisionally found that…

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Science lab setting with plant, computer, flask and microscope

Blog Post: 04 August 2022

ΑG opines that all of Servier’s pay-for-delay deals were restrictions of competition by object

On 14 July 2022, Advocate General (AG) Kokott delivered her much awaited (non-binding) Opinions in Cases C-176/19 P, Commission v Servier and Others and C-201/19 P, Servier and Others v Commission. 

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Microscope with lights on

Blog Post: 28 July 2022

German pharma antitrust in 40 questions - a practitioner’s guide

Our Hamburg-based German antitrust team has contributed a chapter on Germany to Lexology Get The Deal Through’s global report on Pharmaceutical Antitrust. 

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